Sport

Blasters enjoy home court favour with win over Warriors

By Meg Saultry

A back-heavy draw that favours their home court will see Seymour Blasters attempt to build a Colosseum at the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre in the weeks to come.

And back-to-back wins for both their women's and men's team on Saturday night is the first of many the Blasters hope to pick up as they race towards finals.

First on the court was the Lady Blasters, and despite Wangaratta Warriors missing both their best shooter in Chloe Storer and their coach, the Blasters retained control for the majority of the match.

Their only obstacle came in the form of Carly Perso, who the Blasters did an impressive job of limiting to just six points.

“We hadn’t seen her (last time we played Warriors),” Seymour coach Bill Pearce said.

“She was one of the ones we were closely monitoring.

“We had a couple girls play on (Perso), and Dyani (Ananiev) would come and help, and try keep her away from the basket."

Pearce credited 17-year-old Shoni Gesler for her work in defence, with the smaller Gesler doing a particularly good job on Perso.

With Seymour remaining in a strong position at 5-2, the match was the first time Seymour had full use of their bench in weeks, and Pearce said it gave the team opportunity to try more combinations.

But it was again the work of Tayha Watkins (22 points) and Ananiev (15) who continue to take it up to their more experienced opponents on court.

Easy does it: Seymour's Tayha Watkins continues to dominate the scoreboard, shooting 22 points against Wangaratta on Saturday night. Picture: Karl Phillipson.

“We played Tayha as a point guard this week,” Pearce said.

“She's pretty versatile, but we let her control the floor. She did a good job.

“And Dyani's ability to rebound and get us second chance at points - without her we would struggle."

Later in the night, the men's contingent for the Blasters continued the good work of their predecessors to easily roll the Warriors, 75-45.

Robbie Sartori (16 points) and Jack Murphy (14) continued their good work in offence, though this time around the Blasters had noticeably more scoring options off the bench, with Zac Donoghue (10), Tom O’Connor (9), Gavin Whitfort and Harrison Stones (8 each) all strong contributors.

Playmaker: Robbie Sartori was in full control of Seymour's offence on Saturday, scoring 16 points for the Blasters. Picture: Karl Phillipson.

This Saturday, Seymour will be back on their home court to take on the powerhouse of CBL this season, Wallan Panthers.

Facing off against the Panthers back in round three, the men's side fell 24 points short of the win and will need to again contend with the strength of their former teammates in Leo and Max Viitala.

For the Lady Blasters, they are looking at turning around a 14-point defeat from earlier in the season.

“Anytime you play in Wallan it's a hostile environment,” Pearce said.

“To have it on our home court this time is an advantage for us.

“We’ll field a full side (this) time - we were depleted last time.

“Dyani and Tayha are in, Hayleigh Frost will come back in. Monique Mann, we'll relish having her back in.”

Pearce said his squad would focus heavily on defence in their round nine match against the Panthers, following the high scoring contest back in round three.

“We'll concentrate on defence, Wallan scored 100 plus points last time,” the coach said.

“Offensively we'll run with our standard offense, though we struggled to score when Wallan ran a zone, so we'll work on that at training and have an answer for it.”

Seymour Lady Blasters kick off their match at 6 pm this Saturday night, while the Seymour Blasters take the court at 8 pm.

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Scoreboard

Seymour Lady Blasters 69

Wangaratta Lady Warriors 55

Top scorers: Tayha Watkins 22, Dyani Ananiev 15

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Seymour Blasters 75

Wangaratta Warriors 45

Top scorers: Robbie Sartori 16, Jack Murphy 14